It’s been a big year for Gold Coast musicians. Topping charts, selling out international shows, scoring amazing festival sets in Australia and abroad and most importantly, creating incredible music and connecting with legions of fans.
At this week’s Gold Coast Music Awards, five Gold Coast artists have been singled out for the incredible year they’ve just had. Amy Shark – a passionate and vocal ambassador for the city – had her song ‘Adore’ streamed 32 million times and her EP ‘Night Thinker’ peak at #2 on the ARIA charts. Casey Barnes was named a finalist for the Golden Guitar awards and had his single ‘Keep Me Coming Back’ debut at #4 on the Country iTunes Charts.
Ella Fence consolidated her reputation for being a performing artist of incredible talent, moving between music and theatre with ease and having her song ‘Hollow Drum’ picked up by commercial radio. Hussy Hicks made time for 18 shows in Germany and Italy, 17 in the USA and a short trip to New Zealand, while also releasing a new album and signing to US management. And Mitch King had his EP ‘Southerly Change’ debut at #2 on the Australian blues charts and his single ‘Burning’ clock up more than 1.6 million streams on Spotify. HE also amassed some 275,000 monthly listens on the streaming platform reaching audiences all over the world.
ALH is sponsor of the Artist of the Year category and the company’s Queensland Entertainment Manager Ian Smith is a pretty passionate music fan himself. He says this year’s finalists for the category are phenomenal.
“Without a doubt, this years finalists in Artist of The Year are not only relevant in the Australian market, they are truly world class.”
“We are lucky to have so much talent here on the coast, but even luckier knowing that we get to watch these acts keep growing and influencing artists on the Gold Coast in the future. These acts are providing the soundtrack to the modern Gold Coast,” Ian said.
“Live music is the lifeblood of the Miami Shark bar,” he said, as one example of the properties ALH owns and Ian books acts and events for. “as is giving young and upcoming acts a platform to perform regularly.”
For Ian, sponsoring the Gold Coast Music Awards is about fostering and building a thriving music culture.
“This is also true about the Gold Coast Music Awards, which is why it is a real privilege to be involved in helping recognise all the wonderful people that help create this amazing and vibrant industry we are are growing here on the Gold Coast.”
Ian said it really feels if live music on the Gold Coast is coming of age.
“With so many amazing music venues on the gold coast now, it is no wonder that the GC is punching above its weight in the Australian scene.”
“This is a simple reflection of how much the live music scene is growing on the coast. We get to witness some incredible acts born out of our regular events such as Rabbit Radio Sundays at Miami Shark Bar and SoCo Thursdays at Parkwood Tavern, and this is only happening more and more.”
“Yes there are still many challenges in the scene, but you can’t keep quality live music down.”
Ian will announce the winner of Artist of the Year at the 2018 Gold Coast Music Awards this Thursday. But for now, you can meet the awesome finalists who are in with a shot…
Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Amy is a passionate ambassador for the city. While experiencing success on a global scale, she continues to fly the flag, showcasing her hometown to the world. Amy’s achievements over the past two years are mind-boggling. Her breakout single ‘Adore’ has been certified 3x Platinum and follow-up track ‘Weekends’ went Gold. She was nominated for six ARIA awards, taking out both Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist and she’s currently in the running for Song of the Year for ‘Weekends’ for the APRA Awards as well as Pop Work of the Year and Most Played Australian work for ‘Adore’. She’s undertaken two headline tours in both North America and Europe with cities like LA, Seattle, New York, London and Berlin selling out, sold out multiple Australian tours, hit some of the world’s biggest festivals (she’s just been announced for Lollapalooza for heaven’s sake) and has lent her voice to a tourism campaign with Destination Gold Coast. Amy’s music career began on the Gold Coast and over the past ten years she has performed at almost every venue on the Coast. Her break came as a result of a City of Gold Coast arts grant that allowed her to work with producer M-Phazes. The resulting song has been streamed 33 million times on Spotify and the EP ‘Night Thinker’ peaked at #2 on the ARIA charts and #1 on the iTunes charts. She has won ARIAs, Queensland and Gold Coast Music Awards, had slots at Splendour, Austin City Limits and countless other events and performed live at the nationally televised ARIA Awards.
Calling the Gold Coast home for 20 years, Golden Guitar finalise Case Barnes is making a monumental impression on Australia’s country music scene. He’s had hits in Europe, recorded and toured in America, appeared in a top-rating TV show in Australia and performed alongside many international stars including Mariah Carey, Lady Antebellum and Bryan Adams. His past singles and albums have all reached country music charts. ‘Live As One’ landed at #9 on the ARIA charts on its release and single ‘Just Like Magic’ reached #1 on the Top 40 Country Charts and Australian Country Radio Charts. Follow-ups ‘Keep Me Coming Back debuted at #4 on the country iTunes charts and charted in the USA’s top 10 itunes ‘hot tracks’ country charts. His more recent work has been added to rotation across commercial radio and the past four years has seen him tour USA and perform at Australia’s biggest music festivals including Caloundra Music Festival, Broadbeach Country, Tamworth Country, Urban Country, Gympie Muster and A Day On The Green alongside Mariah Carey. In all, Casey has had three Ausralian #1 country singles and a top ten ARIA charting album.
Stephanie Pickett, AKA Ella Fence, is much more than just a musician. Combining theatre, performance and music, she’s fast becoming known as an adaptable and versatile artist with her songs gaining attention near and far. Ella’s work has been long-listed for international awards and previously won Gold Coast Music Awards. She’s been a finalist for both the Billly Thorpe and Grant McLennon Fellowships and in the past two years she’s taken out the Australian Music Week incentive prize, received funding from the City of Gold Coast for ‘power up your arts’ and been a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. In 2017 alone, she starred in Bleach* Festival’s ‘Hotelling’, released four singles, collaborated with a lon list of local artists and had her single ‘Hollow Drum’ picked up by commercial radio. Her 2017 tour took in Brisbane, Byron, Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, she played the lead character of Snow White in the dark, twisted collaboration between La Boite Theatre and Opera Queensland during Brisbane Festival and gained large spotify audiences across the world – clocking up 25,000 regular monthly listeners on the platform.
With five studio albums, two live albums, a DVD and an insane number of successful national and international tours, Hussy Hicks have developed a fan base here in Australia as well as across the world. In 2017 alone, the Gold Coast duo and their band played Blues on Broadbeac, Peak Festival, Winton Film Festival, Bello Winter Festival, Gympie Muster, Mullum Music Fstival, Sydney Blues Festival and still had time for 18 shows in Germany and Italy, 17 shows in the USA and a mini-tour of New Zealand. Many of the German shows sold-out. Signed to US management and featured on national television nearly every day due to their role in ‘Get Grubby’ where Hussy Hicks perform all music for and feature in the show, Leesa Gentz and Julz Parker spent time in 2017 consolidating much of their past work.
Raised in Tamborine Mountain, Mitch found his feet busking in his home-town but has gone on to self-fund and co-produce his album ‘A Life Under the Sun’, an EP ‘Southerly Change’ which debuted at #2 on the Australian blues charts and remained in that position for ten days and singles ‘Burning’ and ‘Believe’. His track ‘Burning resulted in 1.6 million streams on Spotify alone and two national tours promoting the EP and single saw him take in shows throughout Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA. As well as a heap of big festival performances, including Blues on Broadbeach, Gympie Muster and Palm Creek Folk Festival, his online reach is growing rapidly. At the end of 2017 he was clocking over some 275,000 monthly listerns on Spotify with Italy, USA, Canada, Germany and the UK representing the top six countries.
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Gold Coast Music Awards are presented by Surfers Paradise Alliance and proudly supported by City of Gold Coast. Get more at www.gcmusicawards.com.